Straight Ahead was the follow-up to Grant's ground-breaking 1982 album Age to Age. Containing songs that were more aggressive than the ones found on Age to Age, Straight Ahead was not as commercially successful as its predecessor. Nonetheless, it still topped Billboard's Christian album chart for sixty-one weeks, knocking Age to Age from the number-one position. The song "Angels" was also a No. 1 Christian radio hit for thirteen weeks, and won a Grammy Award for "Best Gospel Performance, Female." Straight Ahead would be certified gold in 1985. The song "Thy Word" is based on Psalm 119:105.
In 2007, Straight Ahead was reissued and digitally remastered by Grant's new record label, EMI/Sparrow Records. The remastered edition is labeled with a "Digitally Remastered" logo in the 'gutter' on the CD front.
Straight Ahead was the first Christian album to chart on the Billboard pop album chart. A&M reissued it in 1985, just as Grant was appearing on the Grammy Awards performing "Angels".